Chemotherapy Competency Requirement
Believing that specialized preparation of the professional RN can ensure a safe level of care for the individual receiving chemotherapy, the Oncology Nursing Society (ONS) has published the Chemotherapy and Biotherapy Guidelines and Recommendations for Practice. These guidelines describe the basic content and clinical experiences necessary for the preparation of the professional RN to care for individuals with cancer across the various treatment settings.
Attending a course based on these guidelines and successfully completing the post-test allows registered nurses to use the credential “Chemotherapy Provider.” Holding a Provider Card indicates that a nurse has a certain knowledge base regarding chemotherapy administration. Hospitals and clinics are still expected to provide a clinical component and validate competency of each individual nurse (Oncology Nursing Society).
At the UAMS Winthrop P. Rockefeller Cancer Institute, patients receiving chemotherapy are cared for by nurses with special education and training in chemotherapy administration. Chemotherapy is administered according to the Oncology Nursing Society Guidelines. In addition, all nurses who administer chemotherapy must attend annual or biannual update classes related to the administration of chemotherapy.